Saturday, October 21, 2006

just some art

A cockerel of some breed or other drawn at Manor Farm Museum.
Colour added in photoshop by way of an experiment.

A pig, drawn in pencil and again coloured in photoshop, this time experimenting with the lassoo and the fill tools.

Friday, October 20, 2006

damnable inspiration

So I've dropped Karen at work and Molly at School and I'm heading into town to browse the bookshops and have myself a large cappucino and I'm thinking about the organic veg delivery that comes on fridays from Riverford. And I'm thinking about carrots and snowmen and school dinners and vegetables when inspiration hits me over the head so hard my vision goes squiffy and I have to pull the car over.

So I have my cappucino and a raspberry bakewell and still inspiration is rolling around in my head. So I go look around waterstones children's section and there's nothing there like the idea in my head so I drive home and set up my drawing board. Two and a half hours later I have a 16 page story laid out sketched in reasonable detail and all the text written down.

To put it mildly I'm in fucking shock!!! Inspiration hasn't hit me this hard and this fully formed since before I got myself married. I was beginning to wonder if there was something about being married that just didn't agree with inspiration. And there ain't. I can be married, happy, a father and still be creative. It just needs peace and quiet.

I don't know if the story's any good. I like it and if nothing else it'll make a good Christmas card for some small family members.

God it feels good to draw with a purpose other than the act itself.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

week off

I've struggled against believing it since getting married but after this current week I just have to face it. Creativity, the act itself, is a solitary pursuit by necessity. I've been off work for a week, doing the school run while Karen's on a full week full day course, which has meant I've had a certain amount of free time, by myself, that I wouldn't have otherwise had. I spent a percentage of that time trying to keep on top of the housework, cooking washing etc, but I had three or four hours each day to myself and found it to be a thing of wonder. In that time I've filled half a dozen or so pages in a sketch pad, done 1 and a 1/2 paintings (painting is kind of like pulling your own teeth without anaesthetic but is starting to feel less painful) and am 2/3's of the way through the best pen and ink drawing I've done in over a year. And that's with time wasting, surfing and playing with my brother in law's Napster, which is now on my PC since we have his old hard drive.

The wonderful Ray Fenwick and his Hall of Best Knowledge put it best in solitude. You'll have to follow this link if you want to know what I'm talking about.

Napster by the way has been a revelation. My tastes in music are fairly simple, I like clever/intelligent lyrics, simple acoustic arrangements and an interesting voice. The clever thing Napster does is attach a recommendation page to each artist you search for of people with a vaguely similar style. So Bob Dylan takes you to Nick Drake takes you to Billy Bragg takes you to Ben Folds takes you to Vashti Bunyan takes you to Gordon Lightfoot takes you to Grateful Dead. I've discovered more new artists I like this week then in the last four years. Nick Drake, particularly, is wonderful, kind of James Blunt with a soul which grossly undersells him and could even be an insult.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The joy of painting.

In between painting the ceiling I've been trying to get back into acrylic painting. I've always liked acrylic for non-photorealistic work (not that I can paint in a photorealistic manner anyway). Acrylic produces a quality of colour that seems ideally suited to some styles of illustrative art and in a moment of wild foolishness I decided time had come to give it a go (again). So I tried it on very heavy acrylic paper, hated it. I tried it on watercolour paper (300lbs) and hated it. Tried it on acrylic/oil board, hated it.

So I'm flicking through some of the many books I have when I come across mentions of paintings done on masonite. Masonite it says, is a smooth surface ideal for oil and acrylic work. It's not archival but has a fairly decent lifespan. The only thing it doesn't say is what masonite is.

Well through the magic of google and wikipedia it turns out that masonite is just a type of MDF. so that's what I'm trying next.

Which in turn lead to my thought for the day. No one really appreciates what an artist has to work through before he even gets pen/brush to paper.